The prime objective of Namibia’s foreign policy is the promotion of national security, peace and prosperity. Our government strives, together with the majority of the world’s nations, to ensure good faith in multilateral negotiations and collective action with a view to enhancing global peace and security.
Namibia understands very well the need to interact with the rest of the world, as we pursue the national interest. Article 96 of the Namibian Constitution stipulates that Namibia will: • Adopt and maintain a policy of non-alignment; • Promote international co-operation, peace and security; • Create and maintain just and mutually beneficial relations amongst nations; • Foster respect for international law, treaties and obligations; and • Encourage the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means.
Namibia’s Vision 2030 provides the long-term development framework for the country to be a prosperous and industrialized nation, developed by her human resources, enjoying peace, harmony and political stability. Vision 2030 visualizes that Five-Year National Development Plans would be the main vehicles for achieving its objectives and realizing the long-term Vision. Accordingly, successive National Development Plans (NDP) will contain the goals and intermediate targets (milestones) that will eventually lead the nation to the realization of the Vision.
Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4) 2012/13 – 2016/2017
The NDP4 is the fourth plan of seven development plans that will move us towards achieving Vision 2030. NDP 4 is a higher-level plan, characterized by fewer and more carefully selected and sequenced goals and associated target values.
The detailed programmes on how to achieve the various NDP4 goals and targets will be left to the various Offices, Ministries and Agencies (O/M/As) responsible for the relevant sectors.
The NDP4 has adopted three overarching goals:
- High and sustained economic growth,
- Increased income equality, and
- Employment creation
To reach these goals, this NDP has identified key areas of focus that will create the necessary momentum for higher economic growth.
While other sectors will not be neglected, attention will be shifted to priority sectors to ensure the impact and results of our efforts are optimal. During the NDP4 period, the following economic sectors will enjoy priority status:
Implementation strategies are clearly spelled out, their emphasis is on a formalised structure of Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E), which encourages accountability. The National Planning Commission will carry out the M&E function.
Our destiny is in our hands, and more vigour and urgency is required to actualise Vision 2030. The philosophy of NDP4, therefore, is to provide direction as regard to high-level national priorities, desired outcomes, and strategic initiatives.
We cherish as a nation good governance, partnership, and people-centered economic development. NDP4 broadly comprises three priority areas. Each of these will be attended to by a number of strategic areas. For all strategic areas, desired outcomes for 2017 have been formulated, along with the recommended strategies that need to be implemented.
In its quest to uplift the standard of living and prosperity of all its peoples, the government adopted the strategy of economic diplomacy. The objectives of economic diplomacy are explicitly outlined in the White Paper on Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Management, adopted by Parliament in 2004.
Economic relations are now, clearly, a priority in Namibia’s interaction with the international community. With an economy that is largely based on the extraction and export of primary commodities and a society many of whose people live below the poverty line, Namibia is a country that is very anxious to achieve rapid economic growth and, consequently, a significant reduction in the absolute number of the absolute poor. And to achieve this national aspiration, it is estimated that the economy must grow by at least 7% GDP annually.
But over the last few years, the economy’s average annual growth rate has been 4% GDP. One of the reasons why the economy is growing at such a slow pace is that the country’s domestic productive base is quite narrow. This is why government has opted to pursue an outward-looking strategy for economic growth and development. Export-push is a central element of that strategy of economic development. Exports, and especially manufactured, non-traditional products, are key to the expansion of the country’s economy. Hence, the need to place economic diplomacy as the cornerstone and main pre-occupation of our foreign policy operations.